Friday, December 27, 2013

A leisurely stroll is a gift

Saw "Saving Mr. Banks" last night, and gleaned two profound home-truths:
A leisurely stroll is a gift.
And
Nothing is more sacred or vulnerable than a child's trust.
It was a delightful film, the performances (especially Emma Thompson's P.L. Travers) were great, the scenes and landscapes were brilliant. The relationship between young "Ginty" and her Dad was depicted beautifully and heart-breakingly.

But take most of the stuff about Walt Disney with a big cube of salt. The Disney version and Team Rodent may be magic but they're not always to be trusted.

My own Dad, on the other hand, was the most trustworthy person I expect ever to meet. He would have turned 85 today.


Friday, December 20, 2013

So I started to walk

Don't wait 'til you're desperate. "It is a characteristic of wisdom, not to do desperate things." (Thoreau)
I was desperate. So I started to walk. Every morning. First thing, as soon as I got up, which as a dad now meant 6 or 7 a.m. I walked for half an hour. Then I walked for an hour. Then I walked for 90 minutes…
 ...a daily five-mile walk turned out to be exactly what I needed. My head cleared. My energy soared. My neck pains diminished. Sometimes I texted myself ideas, sentences, entire paragraphs as I walked. Other times I just floated along, arms at my sides, stewing and filtering and looking.
Walking unlocked me. It's like LSD. Or a library. It does things to you. I finished my novel in only two more years (for a total of six), walking every day. And I don't plan on stopping. 
Mohsin Hamid, in "How to Write: A Year in Advice"-via Dean Hall

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela, optimist

“I always knew that someday I would once again feel the grass under my feet and walk in the sunshine as a free man. I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed towards the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair.”

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

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